Report: Luke Walton’s Job is “Not in Danger” After Meeting with Magic Johnson

Luke Walton
October 22, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton watches game action against the San Antonio Spurs during the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Update:According to Tania Ganguli of the LA Times, the meeting between Luke Walton and Magic Johnson is not indicative of any changes being made to the Lakers coaching staff:

Original story follows:

Luke Walton’s job security has come under question for the first time in the young season. After a 2-5 start to the year, Magic Johnson reportedly held a volatile meeting with the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers warning him about his job.

Walton, who predates Johnson in his current role with the Lakers, spoke to reporters after practice on Friday and downplayed the ESPN report detailing the meeting with management.

Following quotes from Kyle Goon of the OC Register:

“I will tell you this, that Magic, myself, Jeanie [Buss], we are in constant communication, so this is not new, like all of the sudden there is some emergency meeting,” he said. “This is something we do all the time. What we discuss in our meetings is between us. … We have been saying since the beginning, we’re going to be patient. We know where we’re going, we know how to get there and it takes time and it takes hard work.”

Asked about his job security, Walton simply said, “I feel like I’m not going anywhere.”

With a slow start to the season, questions about Walton’s job were always going to be asked. Despite being in positions to win games every time they have hit the floor this season, the Lakers are at a disappointing 3-6. But even with Walton’s struggles and the team being below .500 to start the year, it seems incredibly premature to let go of the head coach so soon.

The Lakers’ current rotation consists of only five players who were on the team last season. It’s going to take time for them to gel together. Moreover, the roster as a whole has major issues that Walton cannot be blamed for. With no homerun hires on the horizon, it seems as though talk of Walton being fired is very premature and overblown.

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